Flannery O'Connor


March 25, 1925 - August 3, 1964


From Savannah, Georgia
Served in Milledgeville, Georgia
Affiliation: Catholic

"What people don't realize is how much religion costs. They think faith is a big electric blanket, when of course it is the cross. It is much harder to believe than not to believe. If you fell you can't believe, you must at least do this: keep an open mind. Keep it open toward faith, keep wanting it, keep asking for it, and leave the rest to God."

Flannery O'Connor's biography begins on March 25, 1925, in Savannah, a colonial seaport draped with incomparable beauty. The Savannah chapter of O'Connor's childhood, spent in a Lafayette Square house just one block over from St. John the Baptist Cathedral, provided the cornerstone of her Catholic faith. She called Savannah "a colony of the Over-Irish" and her ancestry included two of Georgia's oldest Catholic families, the O'Connors of Savannah and the Clines of middle Georgia. When illness overtook the writer in 1950, O'Connor moved to Andalusia Farm where her gifts as a writer flourished as she - famously - raised peacocks. Her "chicken yard" in Milledgeville and her childhood home in Savannah have attracted more biographers and admirers than she could have imagined.

As a child, Mary Flannery O'Connor illustrated chickens, "the same chicken over and over," and she wrote "occasional verse." Her artwork was probably inspired by the ducks and chickens, Flannery's pets, kept in the backyard of the Savannah row house. O'Connor believed that her father Edward "toted" copies of her drawings in his pocket. She also fulfilled his dream to be a writer. Childhood friends of Mary Flannery recalled that she liked to read. And she was an unforgiving literary critic.

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